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Newly developed cancer treatment appears to be very effective
Researchers have now made a major breakthrough in the treatment of cancer. The experts discovered a process that can trigger the death of cancer cells and this more effectively than other previously used methods.
In their investigation, the University of Glasgow scientists developed a method of killing cancer cells that appears to be much more effective than previous treatments. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Nature Cell Biology".
CICD almost completely eliminates cancer tumors
A new method called Caspase Independent Cell Death (CICD) led to the almost complete elimination of cancer tumors in various experimental models. Most previous therapies for cancer (chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy) kill cancer cells through a process called apoptosis, the experts say. This process activates caspases (a group of cysteine proteases), which then leads to cell death. But such therapies often do not kill all cancer cells and can lead to undesirable side effects, which can even promote cancer.
In experiments, CICD often led to complete tumor regression
The scientists were looking for a method to further improve existing therapies that are designed to kill cancer cells. At the same time, the undesirable toxicity should also be reduced. "Our research showed that triggering caspase-independent cell death (CICD) often led to complete tumor regression," explains author Dr. Stephen Tait from the University of Glasgow.
CICD makes the immune system aware of remaining tumor cells
The current investigation mimicked the conditions of the partial therapeutic response. The data collected indicated that triggering tumor-specific CICD can be an effective way to treat cancer. In contrast to apoptosis, which is a silent form of cell death, so to speak, cancer cells killed by CICD alarm the immune system through the release of inflammatory proteins. The immune system can then attack the remaining tumor cells that have survived the first treatment to destroy cancer cells, the doctors explain.
CICD could significantly improve cancer treatment without causing undesirable toxicity
The researchers used laboratory-grown colorectal cancer cells to demonstrate the benefits of CICD treatment. These benefits could be applicable to the treatment of a wide range of cancers. "Essentially, this mechanism has the potential to drastically improve the effectiveness of anti-cancer therapy and reduce undesirable toxicity," explains author Dr. Stephen Tait in a press release from the University of Glasgow. Taking our findings into account, CICD as a means of anti-cancer therapy should be examined in more detail in the future, the expert adds.
More research is needed
Although many cancer treatments work by triggering apoptosis, sometimes this method is not enough to completely remove the cancer. Instead, such treatment can make the tumor more difficult to treat, doctors say. The new investigation suggests that there could be a better way to kill cancer cells, which also activates the immune system, the experts further explain. Scientists now need to further investigate the new method of treating cancer. If the results are confirmed by further studies, the next goal is to develop a special treatment to trigger cancer cell death in humans. (as)